After back to back losses to the Houston Rockets and the Milwaukee Bucks, the Golden State Warriors (35-29) are left searching for answers. They now find themselves in the sixth seed just one game up on Houston and two games up on the Los Angeles Lakers. With only 17 games remaining, it is time for Golden State to regain the sense of urgency that they once had.
As Golden State’s playoff hopes begin to look bleak, I question the leadership and toughness that they have in the locker room. Who is going to step up and save their once so promising season? Who is going to step up and be the leader that they have lacked over the past few months?
It starts at the top with All-Star David Lee and emerging star Steph Curry. They are the faces of the franchise and they must take the reigns and lead their team back down the path of success. For a franchise that has only reached the postseasontwice in the past two decades, they have come too far to fail now.
But it’s going to take more than just Lee and Curry. When are we going to see anything from their alleged star big man Andrew Bogut? Fans are beginning to grow weary of whether or not he will ever do anything. At times Golden State looked more like a team than they have in five years with Bogut on the floor, but since his most recent return from missing last road trip due to back spasms, Bogut has hardly been effective.
Bogut is slow and appears to be out of shape, getting beat at the rim by much smaller players, and offensively hasn’t scored more than four points during the four games of their current homestand while playing nearly 30 minutes per game. How much longer can coach Mark Jackson stand back and watch the inactivity of Bogut?
Warriors 6th Man of the Year candidate Jarrett Jack is arguably the most important player on the team and he needs to elevate his game back to the level that it once was. Over the past 10 games, Jack is only averaging 13.4 points on 34.8% shooting. When Jack’s game is on, the Warriors are usually clicking on all cylinders. Jack is the only Warrior with the ability to drive and get to the rim, collapsing the opponents defense and creating open shots for the likes of Steph Curry and Klay Thompson.
Golden State needs a complete team effort down the stretch, but it has to start with the leadership of their key players.
Will the Warriors wake up and regain their sense of urgency? Or will they continue to be a laughing stock of the league and miss out on the playoffs yet again?
You can follow Rich Peters on twitter @Tricky_Roma.